Hip-hop moguls Jay Z and Russell Simmons met with the Governor of New York State, Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday to discuss criminal justice reform relating to the Eric Garner case.
The entrepreneurs took time out of their busy schedules to use their platforms to advocate change in the wake of racial unrest in the U.S.
Both Jay Z, who took part in protests for Trayvon Martin alongside his wife Beyonce last year, and Simmons, who supported the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, spoke with Gov. Cuomo about making changes to the state's criminal justice system. They reportedly encouraged the Queens native to appoint a special prosecutor in the Garner case following a Staten Island grand jury's controversial decision not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's chokehold death. more >>
North Carolina megachurch pastor J.D. Greear, author of the new book Jesus Continued, disagrees with cessationists who would argue that the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit are confined to the past. The Summit Church Raleigh-Durham pastor believes God's spirit can still be experienced in ways similar to the Apostles' encounters in the book of Acts.
Greear told The Christian Post that while he understands that the Apostles were "different" from the believers of today in that God gave them the authority to write the New Testament Scriptures and to build up the early Church, "You cannot convince me that the only book that God gave us with stories of people walking with the Holy Spirit and pursuing the Great Commission – the book of Acts – is filled with stories that have nothing in common with our experience; I just can't see that."
To those who would believe that the Holy Spirit working in the early Church has somehow ceased to work among today's Christ followers, Greear poses "Amazing Grace" hymn writer John Newton's question: "Is it possible that which was that was so essential to the life of the Church and the believer in the first century has become irrelevant to us today?" more >>
Harvest Ministries Pastor Greg Laurie explained in a Sunday sermon entitled the "The Nonbeliever's Favorite Verse", that Matthew 7:1 exhortation to "judge not" does not mean that Christians should not try to judge the actions and intentions of others, rather, Christians must exercise judgment because there will be many false teachers as the End Times draw near.
Explaining that to judge is to make an evaluation, the California pastor said that Christians are called to make evaluation of other's actions for many reasons, including because there will be many false teachings in the last days.
"So yes, we do need to make judgments and why do we need to do that? Because one for the signs of the last days is that there will be false teachings; one of the signs of the last days will be apostasy," Laurie told the congregation. more >>
Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
One of the largest churches in America, Oklahoma-based LifeChurch.tv, is looking to possibly add another campus in Johnson County, Kansas to its multi-campus system.
Life Covenant Church, Inc. of Edmond, more commonly known by the name LifeChurch.tv, has recently purchased approximately 15 acres in Overland Park. The church purchased the property for an estimated $3.95 million but has not made a final decision as to the land's usage, according to Rob Roberts of the Kansas City Business Journal.
Southern Baptist International Mission Board President and megachurch Pastor David Platt said the reason why many Christians balk at the idea of allowing God to send them anywhere in the world for His purpose is because churches have watered down what it means to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
The megachurch pastor preached in a Dec. 1 podcast entitled, "Our Obligation to the Unreached", that Christians should give God a "blank check" when it comes to missions, expressing a willingness to let go of everything and spread the Gospel even in the most violent and deadly places in the world. However he said most people sitting in the church pews on Sunday mornings believe this call is foolish and terrifying.
Referring to Paul's Romans 12 command to Christ followers to become "living sacrifices," Platt admonished "You know why blank check language – surrender to do whatever, go whatever – seems so foreign to so many of us today? Isn't because we've so diluted the gospel invitation?" more >>